|The Social Justice Coalition of the UUCM strongly rebukes the actions of Susan Schulz in calling the Montclair Police to report an alleged assault by her black neighbor, Fareed Hayat, over a permit dispute. In light of the long history of white people’s false accusations of unwanted physical contact by black men, which often – and still can – cost them their lives, we support Mr. Hayat, his wife Norrinda Hayat, as well as all people of color in their right to live their everyday lives in dignity and peace. We applaud our Montclair neighbors on Norman Road who, when called to corroborate the claim of assault, rejected the baseless accusation and provided a model of anti-racism in action. |
We recognize some of you who know or remember Susan Schulz from our congregation may be finding the news of her behavior particularly unexpected and upsetting. If so, we encourage you to reach out to Reverend Anya and/or Reverend Scott for pastoral care.Whether we know Susan or not, the SJC is calling on everyone in our UU faith community to take a pledge that, in the case of a non-violent offense, we will think seriously about the implications of making a call to the police or otherwise filing a police report immediately. We pledge to educate ourselves on alternatives to calling the police, including the guidelines from the Unitarian Universalist Association (https://www.uua.org/safe/handbook/alternatives-calling-police), and the Montclair Beyond Policing resource, “Steps to Ask Yourself Before Calling the Police” (attached).
We also encourage our members to contact your state Senators and urge them to pass S2635, sponsored by Senator Nia Gill and introduced into the Senate on June 29th. The bill establishes as crimes the false incrimination, filing a false police report as a form of bias intimidation, and false 9-1-1 reporting with the purpose to intimidate or harass based on race or protected class. A similar bill passed the Assembly on June 18th.
At a time when the nation is waking up to the realities of systemic racism, we urge our UU members and friends of conscience to take action now to limit the use of police in matters that can be settled safely and without risk to the health and life of our neighbors.
–The Social Justice Coalition Executive Team
|We are your SJC Team Members:|
Kathryn Counsell, Teresa DeSousa, Johanna Foster, Roz Gohagan, Georgiana Hart, Peggy Hayden, Nick Lewis, Mike Mernin, Anne Sailer, David Sailer, Anneliese Scherfen, Peg Seip, Maria Towe
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